Arthur Rigby & the Baskervylles, Deaf Institute
photo by manchestertaper

“Orchestral pop” as a descriptor can cover a multitude of sins and is usually shorthand for an approach that involves smearing unimaginative arrangements over uninspired songs in the hope of obscuring the mediocrity at their core. So Manchestertaper didn’t know quite what to expect when the Baskervylles (and their fictitious Arthur Rigby) brought their 5-piece line-up to the Deaf Institute to support the magnificent Miserable Rich last month.

We needn’t have worried. The band sweep and swagger between arrangements that can be sparse and stark or full-bodied and infused with high drama but which, crucially, never detract from the vital songs that they envelope.

Benjamin Hatfield’s voice is an instrument of rare power and subtlety: soaring but never overwhelming and pleasingly at odds with his unassuming plaid-shirt-and-beard image. But it would be unfair to single out any band member for special praise here: performances like these exist on a knife-edge and require each performer to be perfectly attuned both to the song and their fellow musicians. We think they acquit themselves admirably – have a listen to their eight-song set and decide for yourself.

Stream “While Away”:

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Download complete show in mp3 format (click here)

Download complete show in FLAC format (click here)

Setlist:

While Away
Spies
Moonlit Strangers
Ode to Gog
Fly Far Away
Nine Silver Rings
Follow
White Houses

If you download and enjoy this music we would fully expect you to support the band by buying their records and attending their gigs. Arthur Rigby & the Baskervylles’ official website is here and their current EP can be purchased here.

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